Police increase patrols during holiday shopping

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Safety at the mall and department stores is a growing concern on Black Friday and this weekend.

While shoppers are out scoping for the bargains or stocking up on items, police are warning shoppers to stay safe and alert.

Photos: Holiday shopping at the MacArthur Center

Cities across Hampton Roads are increasing their police presence in shopping areas. The goal is to have extra coverage when stores are open.

“There’s a lot of them walking in various stores that we’ve noticed, said Don Wingard, a local shopper. “We actually felt that was a good thing.”

Document: Holiday safety tips

Police said shoppers are the most vulnerable in parking lots. Officers also said shoppers should park in a well-lit area, avoid shopping alone, don’t leave items visible from your car windows and lock your car doors.

“I don’t set anything down. You have to be smart about it,” said Lorrie Ann-Booker, another shopper. “Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re going to be vulnerable. I keep my wallet, everything zipped up. Keep my bags close to me.”

Police said never fight for your belongings if you are the victim of a robbery. You should call authorities immediately.

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